New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. World
  2. Europe
16 March 2017updated 12 Oct 2023 10:19am

Dutch election results at a glance

Right-wing blonde bombshell Geert Wilders was trounced. But he wasn't the only one. 

By Julia Rampen

Before the Dutch elections, all eyes were on the latest – some would say original – right-wing populist blonde bombshell, Geert Wilders of the Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV). Wilders’ party’s manifesto promised “de-Islamisation of the Netherlands”, including ending all immigration from Muslim countries and closing down mosques. A Eurosceptic, he was also a fan of Nexit. 

The expectation that Wilders would win big was anticipated as much by the far-right as it was feared by the left. Britain’s mini-Wilders, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, popped up on the eve of the Dutch election count to proclaim that “through the Dutch elections, the French elections etc, you will see a continuance of this revolution against global governance”.

But in the end, Dutch voters chose a different narrative. At time of writing, the centre-right VVD party prevailed, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte looking forward to a third successive term. “The Netherlands said ‘Whoa!'” he declared.

For those on the alternative left, however, the biggest nugget of election gold however may be the fact the Green-Left party sprang up to third place, with an increase of 10 seats.

Pessimists, though, may sense that below the veneer of respectability, the threat of right-wing populism has not gone away. The mainstream left was the biggest loser of the night, going from a major mainstream party to a bit-part player in a single night. 

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

So what happens next? Here is what you need to know:

Mainstream politicians are celebrating across Europe

The election results will allow mainstream parties to form a governing coalition, and block out the PVV. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff was extremely happy, tweeting “Netherlands, oh the Netherlands, you are a champion!” Martin Schulz, Merkel’s centre-left rival, also tweeted his celebrations. 

It’s a win for the alternative, not mainstream left

The Dutch Labour party, which had been the junior party in the ruling coalition, had a catastrophic night, losing 29 seats. It now has less than the Green-Left party. Although this party’s surge took place in an electoral system very different from Westminster, the UK Greens are celebrating. Co-leader Jonathan Bartley tweeted that it was “really great news proving freedom, a positive and hopeful vision can win votes”. 

Geert Wilders is still very much around

The PVV might not have overturned the establishment, but it still came second, with 20 seats – a gain of five. Wilders is a veteran of Dutch politics, and is unlikely to take this as a cue to shuffle off stage. Indeed, as the election results became clear, he tweeted to his 808,000 followers: “We were the third largest party of the Netherlands. Now we are the second largest party. Next time we will be number one!”

Turkey is not impressed

The run up to the Dutch elections has been overshadowed by an increasingly loud spat between Turkey and the Netherlands, over rallies in favour of Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. According to AFP, the Turkish government’s reaction to the nail-biting contest between a mainstream politician and the man who would persecute Dutch Turks is “there is no difference”. 

Content from our partners
The power of place in tackling climate change
Tackling the UK's biggest health challenges
"Heat or eat": how to help millions in fuel poverty – with British Gas Energy Trust